FAST earlyReading

Area: Word Blending

 

Cost

Technology, Human Resources, and Accommodations for Special Needs

Service and Support

Purpose and Other Implementation Information

Usage and Reporting

The Formative Assessment System for Teachers (FAST) is a cloud-based suite of assessment and reporting tools that includes earlyReading English. As of 2013-14, there is a $5 per student per year charge for the system. As a cloud-based assessment suite, there are no hardware costs or fees for additional materials.

Computer and internet access is required for full use.

Testers will require less than 1 hour of training.

Paraprofessionals can administer the test.

earlyReading
43 Main St. SE
Suite 509
Minneapolis, MN 55414
Phone: 612-424-3710
 
Field tested training manuals are included and should provide all implementation information.
 
Access to interactive online self-guided teacher training is included at no additional cost. In-person training is available at an additional cost of $300 per hour.

earlyReading is used to monitor student progress in early reading in the early primary grades. Most earlyReading assessments provide information on both the accuracy and rate or efficiency of performance.

The appropriate progress monitoring assessment(s) is/are chosen based on screening performance and are used to diagnose and evaluate skill deficits. Those results help guide instructional and intervention development. It is recommended that Word Blending be used for progress monitoring throughout kindergarten and in first grade as needed, depending on specific student needs.

The Word Blending task assesses the student’s ability to form a word from individually spoken sounds or phonemes. The examiner says each phoneme in a word and asks the student to say the complete word. The resulting score is 1 if the student says the word correctly and 0 if s/he does not produce the correct word. For example, if the examiner says /t/ /o/ /p/, the score is 1 if the student says “top” with correct pronunciation and 0 if the student says anything else.

Each earlyReading test takes approximately 1-2 minutes to administer. earlyReading is computer administered to individual students and scoring is automated; it does not require any additional time to score.

The Word Blending assessment has 20 alternate forms.

A raw score is calculated as number correct words blended out of 10. Rate (i.e., per minute) score can also be calculated when appropriate.

 

 

Reliability of the Performance Level Score: Convincing Evidence

Type of Reliability

Age or Grade

n (range)

Coefficient

SEM or CSEM*

Information (including normative data) / Subjects

range

median

Alternate Forms

K

36-37

0.59-0.79

0.71

0.97 (0.82)

Collected in Spring; see table 1 for information on the sample.

Alternate Forms

1

30-31

0.15-0.59

0.26

-

Collected in Spring; see table 1 for information on the sample.

Split-half

K-1 480 - 0.91 - Coefficients were derived from a random sample of students from the FAST database from the 2012-2013 academic year. Approximately 42.3% of students were female, and 57.7% were male. Approximately 31% of students were White, 31% Black, 19% Hispanic, 9.6% Multiracial, 8.3% Asian, and 1% American Indian. 

Coefficient α 

K-1 480 - 0.90 - Coefficients were derived from a random sample of students from the FAST database from the 2012-2013 academic year. Approximately 42.3% of students were female, and 57.7% were male. Approximately 31% of students were White, 31% Black, 19% Hispanic, 9.6% Multiracial, 8.3% Asian, and 1% American Indian.

Test Retest

K 1062 - 0.77 - Approximately 2-3 week delay.Participants included kindergarten students from two school districts. In School District 1 three elementary schools participated. Kindergarten students from District 1 who participated in the study were enrolled in all day or half day kindergarten. The majority of students within the school district were White (78%), with the remaining students identified as either African American (19%), or other (3%). 40 to 50 percent of students at each school were on free and reduced lunch. In school District 2, the majority of students within the school district were White (53%), with the remaining students identified as African American (26%), Hispanic (11%), Asian (8%), or other (2%). 40 to 50 percent of students at each school were on free and reduced lunch. 

Delayed Test-Retest

K 1327 - 0.58 - Fall-Winter; Participants included kindergarten students (57.5%) and first grade students (42.5%). Approximately 49.6% of students were female and 50.4% were male. Approximately 64.8% of students were White, 15.0% Black, 9.8% Hispanic, 7.7% Asian, and 2.7% Other. Approximately 35.5% of students received special education services; for 41.1% of students, their special education status was unspecified.

Delayed Test-Retest

K 4106 - 0.69 - Winter-Spring; see subject information above.

Delayed Test-Retest

K 1570 - 0.34 - Fall-Spring; see subject information above.

Test Retest

1 36 - 0.90 - Approximately 2-3 week delay; see subject information above.

Delayed Test-Retest

1 845 - 0.58 - Fall-Winter; see subject information above.

Delayed Test-Retest

1 939 - 0.78 - Winter-Spring; see subject information above.

Delayed Test-Retest

1 568 - 0.54 - Fall-Spring; see subject information above.

 

Table 1. Sample Demographics for Alternate Forms Study

Category

District A (%)

District B (%)

District C (%)

White

56.1%

93%

79.5%

Black

13.5%

4%

6.8%

Hispanic

10.3%

3%

4.5%

Asian/Pacific Islander

19.4%

4%

10.5%

American Indian/Alaskan Native

>0.1%

1%

0.25%

Free and Reduced Lunch

44.9%

17%

9%

LEP

15.8%

6%

6%

Special Education

12.6%

10%

10%

 

Reliability of the Slope: Unconvincing Evidence

Type of Reliability

Age or Grade

n (range)

Coefficient

SEM

Information (including normative data) / Subjects

range

median

Reliability of Slope

K

958

-

0.73

-

Using 3 time points, fall, winter, and spring; demographics are presented in Table 1 under GOM 1.

Reliability of Slope

1

824

-

0.77

-

Using 3 time points, fall, winter, and spring; demographics are presented in Table 1  under GOM 1

 

Validity of the Performance Level Score: Convincing Evidence

Type of Validity

Age or Grade

Test or Criterion

n (range)

Coefficient

Information (including normative data) / Subjects

range

median

Concurrent

1

GRADE composite Level K

71

 

0.22

Collected in Fall.

Participants included kindergarten students from two school districts. In School District 1 three elementary schools participated. Kindergarten students from District 1 who participated in the study were enrolled in all day or half day kindergarten. The majority of students within the school district were White (78%), with the remaining students identified as either African American (19%), or other (3%). 40 to 50 percent of students at each school were on free and reduced lunch. In school District 2, the majority of students within the school district were White (53%), with the remaining students identified as African American (26%), Hispanic (11%), Asian (8%), or other (2%). 40 to 50 percent of students at each school were on free and reduced lunch. 

Concurrent

K

GRADE composite Level K

213

 

0.23

Data collected in Spring; see subject information above.

Concurrent

1

GRADE composite Level 1

165

 

0.12

Data collected in Spring; see subject information above.

Predictive

K

GRADE composite Level K

230

 

0.41

Fall to Spring prediction; see subject information above.

Predictive

1

GRADE composite Level 1

179

 

0.56

Fall to Spring prediction; see subject information above.

Predictive

K

GRADE composite Level K

227

 

0.66

Winter to Spring prediction; see subject information above.

Predictive

1

GRADE composite Level 1

169

 

0.53

Winter to Spring prediction; see subject information above.

Concurrent

K

aReading

323

 

0.44

Data collected in Fall

Concurrent

K

aReading

631

 

0.49

Data collected in Winter

Concurrent

K

aReading

1848

 

0.49

Data collected in Spring

Predictive

K

aReading

281

 

0.50

Fall to Winter

Predictive

K

aReading

1242

 

0.47

Winter to Spring

Concurrent

1

aReading

979

 

0.40

Data collected in Fall

Concurrent

1

aReading

431

 

0.46

Data collected in Winter

Concurrent

1

aReading

956

 

0.43

Data collected in Spring

Predictive

1

aReading

619

 

0.47

Winter to Spring

Predictive

1

aReading

377

 

0.39

Fall to Winter

 

Predictive Validity of the Slope of Improvement: Unconvincing Evidence

Type of Validity

Age or Grade

Test or Criterion

n (range)

Coefficient

Information (including normative data)/Subjects

range

median

Predictive Validity of Slope

K

GRADE Level K

230

-

0.48

Data collected Fall, Winter, and Spring. Participants included kindergarten students from two school districts. In School District 1 three elementary schools participated. Kindergarten students from District 1 who participated in the study were enrolled in all day or half day kindergarten. The majority of students within the school district were White (78%), with the remaining students identified as either African American (19%), or other (3%). 40 to 50 percent of students at each school were on free and reduced lunch. In school District 2, the majority of students within the school district were White (53%), with the remaining students identified as African American (26%), Hispanic (11%), Asian (8%), or other (2%). 40 to 50 percent of students at each school were on free and reduced lunch. 

Predictive Validity of Slope

1

GRADE Level 1

178

-

0.16

Data collected Fall, Winter, and Spring; See information above.

 

Disaggregated Reliability and Validity Data: Unconvincing Evidence

Disaggregated Reliability of the Performance Level Score:

Unless otherwise specified, the following disaggregated delayed test retest reliability coefficients were derived from a sample of approximately 11,850 1st grade students and 15,985 Kindergarten students in the FAST system (N = 27,835). Approximately 29.3% were female, 31.3% were male, and 39.4% of students did not report gender. Approximately 39.1% of the sample of students were White, 8% were African American, 5% were Hispanic, 3.3% were Asian, 2.1% were recorded as “Other”, 1.9% were Multiracial, 1% were American Indian or Alaska Native, and 0.1% were Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander. Approximately 39.4% of the sample did not report ethnicity/race. Approximately 50% of students were reported as not eligible for special education services, while 10.4% of students were receiving special education services. However, 39.4% of the sample did not report special education status or receipt of services. 

Type of Reliability

Age or Grade

n (range)

Coefficient

SEM

Information (including normative data) / Subjects

Range

Median

Delayed Test Retest

K

245

0.46 - 0.64

0.56

--

African American students, Fall to Winter.

Delayed Test Retest

K

158

0.34 - 0.61

0.48

--

Hispanic/Latino students, Fall to Winter

Delayed Test Retest

K

736

0.50 - 0.62

0.56

--

White/Caucasian students, Fall to Winter

Delayed Test Retest

K

245

0.22 - 0.45

0.34

--

African American students, Fall to Spring

Delayed Test Retest

K

164

0.14 - 0.45

0.28

--

Hispanic/Latino students, Fall to Spring

Delayed Test Retest

K

968

0.27 - 0.40

0.33

--

White/Caucasian students, Fall to Spring

Test Retest

K

573

 

0.78

 

White/Caucasian – 2-3 Week Delay

Delayed Test Retest

K

2824

 

0.69

 

White/Caucasian – Winter to Spring

Test Retest

K

118

 

0.69

 

Hispanic – 2-3 Week Delay

Delayed Test Retest

K

521

 

0.67

 

African American – Winter to Spring

Test Retest

K

318

 

0.53

 

African American – 2 -3 Week Delay

Delayed Test Retest

K

47

 

0.48

 

American Indian – Fall to Winter

Delayed Test Retest

K

78

 

0.61

 

American Indian – Winter to Spring

Delayed Test Retest

K

58

 

0.58

 

Asian – Fall to Winter

Delayed Test Retest

K

62

 

0.33

 

Asian – Fall to Spring

Delayed Test Retest

K

204

 

0.71

 

Asian – Winter to Spring

Test Retest

K

64

 

0.76

 

Asian – 2-3 Week Delay

Delayed Test Retest

K

83

 

0.58

 

Multiracial – Fall to Winter

Delayed Test Retest

K

88

 

0.34

 

Multiracial – Fall to Spring

Delayed Test Retest

K

94

 

0.53

 

Multiracial – Winter to Spring

Test Retest

K

75

 

0.72

 

Multiracial – 2-3 Week Delay

Delayed Test Retest

1

172

0.56 - 0.74

0.66

--

African American students, Fall to Winter

Delayed Test Retest

1

130

0.46 - 0.69

0.58

--

Hispanic/Latino students, Fall to Winter

Delayed Test Retest

1

452

0.41 - 0.56

0.48

--

White/Caucasian students, Fall to Winter

Delayed Test Retest

1

205

0.40 - 0.60

0.51

--

African American students, Fall to Spring

Delayed Test Retest

1

142

0.36 - 0.61

0.50

--

Hispanic/Latino students, Fall to Spring

Delayed Test Retest

1

660

0.30 - 0.42

0.37

--

White/Caucasian students, Fall to Spring

Delayed Test Retest

1

69

 

0.57

 

Asian – Fall to Winter

Delayed Test Retest

1

69

 

0.50

 

Asian – Fall to Spring

Delayed Test Retest

1

62

 

0.87

 

Asian – Winter to Spring

Delayed Test Retest

1

63

 

0.45

 

Multiracial - Fall to Winter

Delayed Test Retest

1

57

 

0.53

 

Multiracial – Fall to Spring

Delayed Test-Retest

1

56

 

0.75

 

Multiracial – Winter to Spring

Delayed Test-Retest

1

390

 

0.63

 

Caucasian – Winter to Spring

Disaggregated Validity of the Performance Level Score:

The following disaggregated aReading validity coefficients were derived from a sample of approximately 13,624 1st grade students and 17,137 Kindergarten students in the FAST system (N = 30,761). Approximately 31% were female, 33.3% were male, and 35.7% of students did not report gender. Approximately 40.6% of the sample of students were White, 7.7% were African American, 4.8% were Hispanic, 3.3% were Asian, 4.9% were recorded as “Other”, 1.9% were Multiracial, 1% were American Indian or Alaska Native, and 0.1% were Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander. Approximately 35.7% of the sample did not report ethnicity/race. Approximately 53% of students were not eligible for special education services. Approximately 3.7% of students were receiving special education services. Approximately 43% of students did not report their special education status.

Type of Validity

Age or Grade

Test or Criterion

n (range)

Coefficient

Information (including normative data) / Subjects

range

median

Concurrent

K

aReading

93

 

0.35

Data collected in the winter; American Indian or Alaska Native

Predictive

K

aReading

51

 

0.32

Fall to Winter; American Indian or Alaska Native

Concurrent

K

aReading

93

 

0.35

Winter; American Indian or Alaska Native

Concurrent

K

aReading

88

 

0.41

Spring; American Indian or Alaska Native

Concurrent

K

aReading

65

 

0.47

Spring; Asian

Concurrent

K

aReading

228

 

0.37

Spring; African American

Concurrent

K

aReading

112

 

0.44

Spring; Hispanic

Concurrent

K

aReading

178

 

0.33

Spring; Multiracial

Concurrent

K

aReading

582

 

0.35

Spring; White

Concurrent

1

aReading

14

 

0.34

Spring; American Indian/Alaska Native

 

Alternate Forms: Unconvincing Evidence

1. Evidence that alternate forms are of equal and controlled difficulty or, if IRT based, evidence of item or ability invariance:  To determine parallel form construction, a one-way, within-subjects (or repeated measures) ANOVA was conducted to compare the effect of alternate forms (n = 10) across five 1st grade students on the number of correct, de-trended, responses within individuals. There was a non-significant effect for form F(9, 36) = 0.74, p = 0.67. This indicates that different forms did not result in significantly different de-trended mean estimates of correct responses. 

2. Number of alternate forms of equal and controlled difficulty: 20

 

Sensitive to Student Improvement: Unconvincing Evidence

1. Describe evidence that the monitoring system produces data that are sensitive to student improvement:

Across 9 Kindergarten students, the slope for average weekly improvement (β1Week) was significantly different than 0 (β1Week = 0.27; SE = 0.07). Across 9 Grade 1 students, the slope for average weekly improvement (β1Week) was significantly different than 0 (β1Week = 0.12; SE = 0.04).

End-of-Year Benchmarks: Convincing Evidence

1. Are benchmarks for minimum acceptable end-of-year performance specified in your manual or published materials?

Yes.

a. Specify the end-of-year performance standards:

Kindergarten: 9 Words blended correctly.

Grade 1:         9  Words blended correctly. 

b. Basis for specifying minimum acceptable end-of-year performance:

Criterion-referenced

c. Specify the benchmarks:

Low risk (High risk)

Kindergarten:  Fall = 1 (1)

Winter = 8 (4)

Spring = 9 (9)

Grade 1:        Fall = 7 (6)

Winter = 8 (8)

Spring = 9 (9)

d. Basis for specifying these benchmarks?

Criterion-referenced.

The primary score for interpretation is number of correct words blended. Psychometric evidence is provided for those values and they support the primary method of interpretation. Accuracy scores are provided as a supplemental score, such that students who perform at less than 95% accuracy are flagged for the user to consider. Our training materials caution the interpretation of rate-based scores until accuracy is approximately 95%. The goals in the system include number correct and number correct per min as the primary index of growth, but also prompt monitoring of the accuracy of student responding. This is designed to help teachers and other users consider multiple aspects of student performance, which includes number correct, errors, rate, and accuracy.

Benchmarks were established for earlyReading to help teachers accurately identify students who are at risk or not at risk for academic failure. These benchmarks were developed from a criterion study examining earlyReading assessment scores in relation to scores on the Group Reading Assessment and Diagnostic Evaluation (GRADE). Measures of diagnostic accuracy were used to determine decision thresholds using criteria related to sensitivity, specificity, and area under the curve (AUC). Specifically, specificity and sensitivity were computed at different cut scores in relation to maximum AUC values.  Decisions for final benchmark percentiles were generated based on maximizing each criterion at each cut score (i.e., when the cut score maximized specificity ≥ 0.70, and sensitivity was also ≥ 0.70; see Silberglitt & Hintze, 2005). Precedence was given to maximizing specificity. Based on these analyses, the values at the 40th and 15th percentiles were identified as the primary and secondary benchmarks for earlyReading, respectively. These values thus correspond with a prediction of performance at the 40th and 15th percentiles on the GRADE, a nationally normed reading assessment of early reading skills. Performance above the primary benchmark indicates the student is at low risk for long term reading difficulties. Performance between the primary and secondary benchmarks indicates the student is at some risk for long term reading difficulties. Performance below the secondary benchmark indicates the student is at high risk for long term reading difficulties. These risk levels help teachers accurately monitor student progress using the FAST earlyReading measures. 

Normative profile:

Representation: Local
Date: 2012-2013
Number of States: 1
Size: ~230
Gender: 55% Male, 45% Female
Region: Upper Midwest
Disability classification: 7% Special Education

Procedure for specifying benchmarks for end-of-year performance levels: Diagnostic accuracy was used to determine cutpoints, or benchmarks, at the 15th and 40th percentile. These correspond to high risk and low risk, respectively. 

Rates of Improvement Specified: Unconvincing Evidence

1. Is minimum acceptable growth (slope of improvement or average weekly increase in score by grade level) specified in manual or published materials?

Yes.

a. Specify the growth standards:

The table below provides average weekly growth by grade level, percentile, and season.

Metric: Number Correct / 10

 

Kindergarten

First Grade

Percentile

Winter

Spring

Winter

90th

2.36

1.94

0.29

80th

2.05

1.54

0.23

70th

1.72

1.21

0.00

60th

1.42

0.99

0.00

50th

1.17

0.72

0.00

40th

0.94

0.41

0.00

30th

0.67

0.32

0.00

20th

0.25

0.00

0.00

10th

0.00

0.00

0.00

Average

1.20

0.85

0.05

SD

0.85

0.75

0.17

N

309

2781

110

Range

0 - 2.97

0 - 2.73

-0.29 - 0.58

b. Basis for specifying minimum acceptable growth:

Norm-referenced weekly growth is calculated.

Normative profile:

Representation: Local
Date: 2013-2014
Number of States: 2
Size: The sample was composed of 26,566 total students across two states. However, one of the states did not provide demographic information by the time of this submission. This state’s sample comprised 10,776 total students, or 40.6% of the total two-state sample. This fact is reflected by the percentages labeled “N/A” below.
Gender: 28.9% Male, 30.5% Female, 40.6% N/A
Region: Midwest
Race/Ethnicity: 38.8% White, 7.8% Black, 4.6% Hispanic, 40.6% Unknown, 1.0% American Indian/Alaska Native, 3.4% Asian/Pacific Islander, 2.0% Other, 1.9% Multiracial.
Disability classification: 49.3% of this sample did not receive special education services. 3.4% of this sample did receive special education services; the special education status was unknown for 47.3% of this sample.
Grade distribution: 57.5% kindergarten; 42.5% first grade.

Decision Rules for Changing Instruction: Data Unavailable

Decision Rules for Increasing Goals: Data Unavailable

Improved Student Achievement: Data Unavailable

Improved Teacher Planning Unconvincing Evidence

Describe evidence that teachers’ use of the tool results in improved planning:

In a teacher-user survey, 82% of teachers indicated that FAST assessment results were helpful in making instructional grouping decisions (n = 401).  82% of teachers also indicated that assessment results helped them adjust interventions for students who were at-risk (n = 369).  Finally, a majority of teachers indicated that they look at assessment results at least once per month (66%), and nearly a quarter of teachers indicated that they look at assessment results weekly or even more often (n = 376).